July 2009
« Jun   Aug »

King Cricket: England must be carefree to get off to a flier

July 6th, 2009 by Sam Collins in England, Test cricket, The Ashes

We’re back from a post-World Twenty20, pre-Ashes holiday slightly later than expected after our flight was cancelled. Lightning struck and damaged the plane at the end of its previous leg. This seemed a feeble reason for not flying to us. ‘Give it a whirl’ we thought, ‘let’s chance our arm’. This philosophy, ‘fortune favours the downright irresponsible’, is one we’d urge England to embrace during the Ashes.

England profited in 2005 after a ludicrously carefree batting performance on the first day of the Edgbaston Test, instigated by Marcus Trescothick and continued by Pietersen and Flintoff. Even Steve Harmison made 17 off 11. England could easily have scored more than they did, but the team’s view was that 400 in a day made more of a point than 500 in near enough two days. Pietersen’s 158 at the Oval was scored in a similar vein. Early in his innings he was a weird and ineffectual chimera: part rabbit in the headlights, part sitting duck. Rather than await his inevitable dismissal, he changed the situation by hooking sixes and in so doing metamorphosised into, ooh, let’s say a flying minotaur - that sounds suitably impressive.

Conversely, look at England when they eschew risk. Against the Netherlands, last month, they carried out a textbook workmanlike defeat and at Adelaide in 2006, they whimpered their way to a standstill. Hopeless. England are only any good when they’re rollerskating down a razor blade, juggling chainsaws. Tell them to park a Volvo and they’ll have their own eye out with the key.

If you thought that our damaged plane example, as well as being wholly unrelated, showed that fortune favoured the cautious being as we clearly haven’t died - think again.

We’re not dead, obviously. We’re entirely dead inside after years of working in an office, but we’re alive in the conventional sense. Regardless, fortune hadn’t favoured us. We don’t know how those responsible for grounding the plane have fared, but we were seriously punished for not risking our life in a pointless bid to arrive home 14 hours earlier. In light of our flight cancellation, we were put up in the very same hotel where we’d asked for directions on the way from the airport a week earlier. It’s one thing to experience the shame of having to ask directions. It’s quite another to have to return to the scene, head bowed, a week hence.

Andrew Strauss, take note. Or perhaps don’t.

King Cricket is going to have a long sleep, and then continue blogging at www.kingcricket.co.uk. King Cricket is a cult figure in the world of cricket blogs and was TWC’s first Best-of-blogs winner in April 2008.

Posted in England, Test cricket, The Ashes | No Comments »

Site by Anson Robson Marketing © 2010 The Wisden Cricketer All Rights Reserved